Michael Fraser is a founding member of the Shortleaf Band, named after the Shortleaf Pine found in the great southern forests of the Ozark Mountains.
He began playing guitar in college, and was especially influenced by the new sounds of the Southern Rock Bands, especially The Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
Moving to the Ozarks to begin a career in Education, he became immersed in the traditional fiddle music of the Scots/Irish who first settled the Ozarks.
Michael was awarded a two year apprenticeship with Master Ozark Square Dance Fiddler, Bob Holt through the Missouri Arts Council’s Master/Apprentice Program.
It was through this experience that Michael understood the communication between music and dance. Bob once told Michael “You may think you’re a hot fiddler, but if the dancers don’t invite you back, you ain’t a fiddler. You’ve got to give the dancers a place to put their foot”.
Mike is the lead player for Shortleaf on fiddle, mandolin and guitar.
Tenley Hansen is a former musical stage performer who has moved into the folk music genre. She has lived in Kansas City most of her life and has been performing for The Shortleaf Band since 2005. A singer/songwriter with a folksy alto voice; she plays keyboards, guitar, fiddle and mandolin.